Volume 3 Number 2
Special Issue: Artists' Books
This special issue is devoted to limited edition, artists ' books.
Each of the artists/columnists is a member of The Movable Book Society
I have been producing artists* books for the past
twelve years Most of my books are based on historical
novelty'* or "mechanical" book formats Two of my
most recent books. Loom and Instructions for
assembly, are good examples of the way I use
traditional formats as the basis for a more sculptural
approach to my work. Loom is a variation on the
traditional "tunnel" or "peepshow" book which first
appeared in the mid 1700's. Based on large-scale
traveling peepshow s. these books have pages which are
joined by accordion-fold pleats on two sides and are
viewed through a hold in the front cover A layered
dimensional scene is revealed within. 1 8th-century
book makers produced these small-scale theater-like
books to commemorate special events like the Queen's
coronation, or as souvenirs of tourist attractions such as
the Rhine Valley in Germany.
In Loom I have pushed this format to a new level by
incorporating landscape scenes along the accordion
binders and combining astronomical views with
oriental rug patterns in the book s interior. The viewer
is encouraged to look not just at the scene inside, but to
view the piece from all sides as one would a sculpture
Instructions for assembly is a pop-up book which
plays on the notion of "how-to" books. The book itself
was a challenge to design. Instead of using the
traditional accordion format which is the basis for most
pop-up volumes. I wanted to incorporate overlying
pop-ups which would build one-over- the-other as the
pages are turned. This required some inventive
binding. Each section has four page spreads bound on
two tyvek tabs pulled through slits in the pages and
attached to the spine of the book With this binding
method I achieved the desired affect. The projects
appear to "construct themselves'* as the viewer turns
through the book. Also, to avoid some labor-intensive
work which is often the norm in pop-up book
production. I chose to sell two versions of the edition,
one assembled and one unassembled with "instructions
for assembly" - obviously in keeping with the theme.
The book allows me to combine my background in
painting and photography with interests in sculptural
forms, printing, and serial images I own a Chandler
and Price letterpress on which I can print and die-cut
sculptural books, and I enjoy producing both one-of-a-
kind books and larger editions. The experimental
nature of the bookmaking process allows for the
occurrence of many "happy accidents" and sponta-
neous moments of expressing in my work. The
challenge is to pull these elements into one strong,
unified statement I am constantly learning ways to
better achieve the desired result.
There is another appealing aspect to artist-
bookmaking: the interesting community of people
involved in it. Editions of artists' books are much more
accessible than one-of-a-kind artworks. They reach and
unite a large audience. Moreover, the process of
bookmaking can require sizeable and expensive
equipment such as presses, paper cutters, and photo
facilities. I Ins equipment is often shared and used
communally Thus, bookmaking is not an isolated
activity. It frequently involves an exchange of ideas,
tools, and skills. No wonder there seems to be more
contact between book artists than between lone
sculptors or painters working in separate studios.
My own inspiration comes from varied sources:
reading, historical references, functional objects
(furniture, jewelry and kinetic toys), architecture, and
other artists" books. The book is a flexible framework
for these influences. It is a very ultimate art form in
which the viewer becomes actively involved. This
opportunity for personal communication with others is
the most enjoyable element for me in making books.
Carol Barton is a book artist residing in Glen Echo,
On Making Books
"I make pop-up books ." What an outrageous thing
to say! It is as if you are standing at my side in the
Sistine Chapel and I turn to you and say. "By the way.
back home" I paint eedings. TOO!"
By a long a curious path I wandered from traditional
printmakmg. from well-mannered art that hangs from
the walls in military correctness to books. In doing so. I
A book will tell you secrets and it will keep yours.
(Jo tell the Computer-Acolytes that a book. too. is
mformation. But a book is also a thing to keep. See it.
Yes. read it. Touch it! Take it to the bathroom or on a
plane to Mandalay. or up a tree.
A "Bookwork. someone said. "Is a work of art in
book form." The art comes down off of the museum
wall and lies across your knees. Turn the page. See
what happens next. Participate.
In a book anything can happen. Books are the last
repository of magic
Accordion with Pop-ups by Larry Thomas
I make one-of-a-krnd books One is sufficient.
Although to be honest, the \\ ay I work is so haphazard
that no publisher would find it cost-effective to
reproduce my work
I make "pop-ups" because they extend the magic.
Sharks, noses, or stealth bombers rise out of the page.
They startle. The\ emphasize. They amaze.
When I think of books and why I like them. I think
of a visit to the British I ibrarv and a curator named
John Barr Mr. Barr took an hour to show me - to let
me touch Victorian pop-ups from the libraries
collection He was an older man. closer to the end of
his career than the beginning. Yet. each time he moved
a new book from his cart to the table. Mr. Barr would
forget about me. The years would fall away and it was
possible to see through the old John Barr down through
the years to eight year old John Barr. He would stare at
the book, turned away from me so that he alone could
see. He would giggle with delight as he turned each
page. Eventually Mr. Barr would remember me and
turn the book so that I could see as well. Together we
would share Wouldn't it be a fine think. I wondered, to
make something that gives so much pleasure.
I make one-of-a-kind pop-up books. A recent book
of mine called Xo tears for Ramelii. will be shown in
the exhibition. "Scientists' Book/ Artists' Book" in
Washington. D C in May. It is a traditional accordion-
fold book w ith "floors" or stages that drop down when
the book is opened to reveal the dimensional pieces.
I am increasingly interested in the "carousal" form
w hich. w hile it suggests the "tunnel" book, offers
different three-dimensional views from all sides. I will
continue to make books and. of course, continue to
look for opportunities to share (exhibit) them.
Larry Thomas is an Associate Professor of Art at
Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Carousal bv Larrv Thomas
The Movable Book Society
Movable Stationery is the quarterly publication
of The Movable Book Society. Letters and articles
from members on relevant subjects are welcome.
Advertising is accepted free of charge from members
and is included when space permits. The annual
membership fee for The Society is $15.00 For more
information contact Ann Montanaro. The Movable
Book Society. P.O. Box 1 1654. New Brunswick. New
Daytime telephone: 908-445-5896
Evening telephone: 908-247-6071
e-mail: montanaro «.zodiac.nitgers edu
The deadline for the next issue is Mav 15
Participation Book Art
"Limited to a conveyor belt, man rarely feels the jov
of creation Unable to encompass the metamorphosis
of things which take shape under the work of his hands,
he forfeits the sense of accomplishment, the unity and
thus the harmony in the doing, which might give him
true satisfaction." Gyorgy Kepes voiced this opinion in
1 949. and I agree with his observations in regards to
creating artists" books. In addition to the hands-on
printing and binding process, my satisfaction is in
exploring the juxtaposition of the visual and verbal
content in Post Press books. My books attempt to
challenge the viewer to experience a metamorphosis in
one of three ways: viewer as visual participant, mental
participant, and physical participant.
Comic books were a significant influence for the
visual participant process Dominanttv visual in
concept, the unages carry the message and what words
there are. are only for utilitarian purposes The visual
participant receives the content in a sequential, paced
manner with jumps in visual thought. For the most part
the viewer is passive in viewing the visual story.
Intrigued by dictionaries, metaphor, and word play
the resulting books entice the viewer to be a mental
participant in the visualAerbal give and take between
pictures and words. This symbolic transformation is a
non-literal visual interpretation. The verbal provides
part of the information and the visual provides another
part of the information Viewed together they mesh to
reinforce each other, not just repeat each other. Alone
neither conveys a complete thought Author Koestler in
his 1 964 book. The act of creation, draws a parallel
beiuecn communication and jest to make a joke
unfold. It is the technique of implication and the
exercise of economy that lifts the viewer "out of his
passive role and compels (him) to co-operate, to
repeat to some extent the process of inventing the joke,
to re-create it in his imagination."
The activity of movable children's books w as the
influence on my books that causes the viewer to be a
phvsical participant. The structure and format is
immediately confronting and tactile, attracting
attention. The 3D. movable, die-cut. or pop-up device
invites the viewer to hand-activate the image that
interprets the text. It is the ultimate means of emphasis.
Again quoting Kepes from the book Graphic forms.
There is an inherent meter and rh\lhm in the sequence
of words and images. Books of today rarely meet a
form that corresponds to the livery pulsation of the
reading eye... most of our books are dreary tenements of
words badly in need of rhythmical accents — accents
which exist in the spoken language " Incorporating
rhvthmieal accents into the interpretation of the
visual/verbal relationship has resulted in visual, mental,
and dimensional Post Press books
Martha Carothers produces Post Press books in
Making Book Forms to Match Content
Because I must make things and because I have
read voraciously ever since I could read, my joy is in
making books. As I begin to think about the books I've
made in the light of a description of movable books
that runs from shaped books to 3-D pop-ups. I realize
that all my books fall between these two categories.
Trying to get a form to the content of a book has been
one of the most intriguing aspects ol 'making them.
My Garden from Weeding Height
by Lois Morrison
A vividly colored book on small Mexican kites.
Dead kites, is shaped like the hands that hold the
strings and. A ransome note for the Statue of Liberty is
shaped like her crown. For collectors of miniature
books I made a just under three-inch book. My cabin in
spring, housed in a square match box When the little
book is lifted out. thirty-some-odd cutout insects fall
into one's hand. Two Jacob's Ladder books are also
shaped. In one. cut-out fish fall between ribbons
shaped like gentle waves; in the other, the limbs of
entwined figures project from a book on Adam 'sfall.
. 1 have found the tunnel book useful in depicting The
Gadarene swine s mass suicide. Looking through the
aperture, one can see layers of diminishing waves and
more drowning swine in front of a background of cliffs
from which they are jumping. In My garden at
weeding height the top is secured by strips of vines that
allow the layers of foliage to spill over the sides in an
enthusiasm of growth. At the moment, another more
regimented garden has me working on a Jardin de
Guadalupe, with two apertures whose sight lines
converge on a photograph of a small Mexican shrine to
the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Before these two books. Julie Chen and I
collaborated on a proscenium book, which presents the
unprobable Ste Ostrich wending her way through
Manhattan in a series of vignettes that show her. among
others, memorialr/uig King Kong atop the Empire
State builduig and wrestling w ith alligators in the
sewers under the city . Each scene has several detailed
Julie Chen has made an amazing tunnel book that,
when set on the floor and raised to its full heieht.
s s y i. ,
The Caterpillar Who is a Corps De Ballet
bv Lois Morrison
comes above one's waist. Ed Hutchinson has made the
smallest: a pair of miniature books that show one view
into and one out of his window. Carol Barton, who
showed me my first tunnel book, makes beautifully
Two tools have helped me to make the books I
want The first is a precise eyelet-setter that permits me
to make jointed figures The first book in which it was
used is based on a 1 9th century Australian tin toy. The
Australian finger-biker in Sew Zealand allows one to
wheel a paper bicyclist down a golden road, in an
accordion-fold book, through New Zealand's North
Island My second is about The caterpillar who is a
corps de ballet Shaped like what she is. with ten
movable legs, .-he dances in ballets all over the globe
This same machine will be used to make The Mexican
dog tosser. whose arms will be jointed to allow him to
toss dead dogs over the fence and off the road. (The
Mexican books come from visits to my daughter, who
h\es in Mexico City.)
None of m> more recent books would have been
possible without the second tool, a Ciocco printer. It is
an inexpensive Japanese gizmo that sets a drawing onto
a small (4" x 5 :") screen, from which up to 100
copies can be printed in colors The quality of the
printing is somewhat like that of a rubber stamp, and
smce that is limited. I then go back into each print with
inks and water colors to get the effect I want. This very
portable machine has freed me from the need for a
large printing establishment, and has allowed me to
make ruy books anywhere. Although this has little to do
w ith form matching content, it has everything to do
with how I make books
To recei\ e a complete list of my books in print call
me at 201-261-6479. or WTite to Lois Morrison. 105
Palmer Place. Leonia. New Jersev 07605. USA.
Back Issues Available
Back issues of Movable Stationery are
available for S2 50 per issue, postage included
Volume 1. =1 - Pricing Pop-up Books.
Volume 1. #2 - "Poppin'up and Movin' on" A
Dialogue with the Bookbinder
Volume 2, #1 - Builduig a Basic Reference
Volume 2. #2 - Belgian Pop-up Lxhibit
Volume 2. fr3 - ABA Convention Report
\ olurne 2. =4 - Selected BibliogTaph\ on Making
Volume 2. #5 - Movable Books ui the Lilly Library
Volume 3. =1 - i raukfurt Book Fair 1994
Book Forms as Sculpture
Robert C. Smith
My career has mostly been in graphic design
professional practice as well as teaching. I have
additional experience in industrial technology and
sculpture. These interests have merged comfortably in
recent years in the book arts.
Most of my books are about play, pleasure, surprise,
and objectivity rather than content that is literary or
process in colors related to the original art. Then they
were cut out by hand, so that when the pages open the
tables or chairs pop forward of the painting, creating a
three-dimensional interpretation. A brief text was
printed by letterpress and the book casebound in cloth.
9 1/4" x 6 3/4". in an edition of 20.
My process is similar to my usual graphic design
production. After rough drawings and notes and
miniature dummies I construct a full size model (or
several) with patchmg and design changes placed
where needed. All the type and colors are included.
After things work satisfactorily, I make careful tracings
of miages. cutting areas and other details for every
page. The tracings are helpful in making corrections or
duplications as they are needed. The editions are small,
some as lew as live, mostly twenty to twenty-five. I
work on at least four or live books concurrently They
take from eight weeks to a year to complete
Inevitably, the question comes up. "Where do \ou
gel your ideas'" I really have no enlightened answer to
this. Ideas seem to occur beyond my capacity to
produce them. They probably come from just
observing and absorbing information and experience I
thuik seemingly unrelated thoughts eventually make
new "connections'" and thereby begins a future project.
The joy and reward to all this is the surprise that comes
after all the tedious effort with the thing "really works."
Robert Charles Smith is a designer in St. Louis,
Page from Poparama by Robert Smith
I set the type bv hand, print w ith letterpress, screen-
process or offset, and I bind my own work. The pub-
lications are in many formats: case bound, folios,
pamphlets, posters, etc. The book becomes trans-
formed into a tactile sculptural experience for me. I
like the change from the flat surface of paper to an
object with color, \olume. space, and movement. My
subjects are very basic. For example, one book called
Checkbook. consiNts of black and white abstract
patterns, including many checkerboard designs.
eo\eruig each page A geometric shape is cut out of
each center and then folded back onto the sheet. This
opens up passages re%ealing pages behind. The entne
effect is quite acme and makes the book somewhat of
a kmetic three-dimensional print. I he folded size is 1 1
1/4" by 5 3/4". bound with sewn signatures and paper
A more complex book is called Masterspieces. I
excerpted section^ lrom paintings by six famous artists,
including Picasso. Klee. and Modrian. These "pieces"
were of chairs or tables. They weTe printed by screen
Working template by Robert Smith
Jane W Conneen
Most people think of miniature books as
inexpensive "cute" little books lor children. Often
charming, but of little value This was well illustrated
to me last year when I 'ictona magazine published a
photo and small mention of three of my books. I
received about 200 inquiries and almost everyone who
called gasped when they heard the prices, obviously not
realizing the time involved in doing these little books
all by hand or the value of a special little book done in
an edition of 100 or less. First wnting and illustrating,
then printing, coloring the illustrations, then folding
and sewing and finally binding Usually all done by one
person, though sometimes planned by the publisher
with the printing and binding executed by master
craftsmen in those fields. Fortunately, through publicity
such as the small article in I 'ictona, and by word of
mouth, the world of miniature books is rapidly
expanding. As both a collector and book artist, it is
exciting to be in the forefront of the grow ing
appreciation of these wonderful little books.
For me. a "book of my own" seemed an impossible
dream. Though I have been a printmaker (linocuts and
etchings) since 1970. it wasn't until 1976. when I saw
a magazine ad for a small herbal, that I discovered
uimiaturc books A little book, done all bv hand
seemed within the realm of possibility. But where does
one learn how to bind a book'' What kind of paper does
one use for such a small book'' How does it get
printed? These problems took another 14 years to
figure out and it wasn't until 1990 that my first book
The winding roads of Ireland w as published. It was
well received and even won an award from the
Miniature Book Society, bolstering my confidence to
go on and try another book. Now the problem is too
many book ideas and not enough tune!
The rule for minianue books is that they can be no
larger than three inches Many collectors do not buy
books over two and a half niches. The fascination of
these little books, lo me. is in theu amazing
inventiveness and creativity Faeh book artist or
publisher starts with a unique idea and each is carried
out in a unique way Some books are special because
of the beauty of their typography, some for their
subjects, some for their bindings or illustrations, and
some for their construction My collection started out
w ith micro-mini books since I did not know any other
kind. These are dollhouse size, under one inch,
amazing little books but often hard to read or sit
properly on a shelf It was with great delight that I
discovered the slightly lareer "readable" size.
Several book artists are creating pop-up, miniature
books. Maryline Poole Adams has created Jack-in-the-
box: An alphabet ( 1 99 1 ). A brief but moving history
of printing ( 1 985). A peep-show Alice ( 1 989). Pepys
pops up (1986). and Punch & Judy (1988). Another
artist who does wonderful books of the same type is
Dianne Weiss of Figment Press. She has a carousel
book that is opened by pulling around to show the
whole carousel and it plays and hurdy gurdy tune.
Diane and Mary line, along with Carol Cunningham
(Sunflower Press) and Susan Acker (Feathered Serpent
Press) have gotten together as The Splendid Press - at
least once and probably more tunes - to do a joint
publication Theu publication. The sun full circle . has
foiu separate little books in a slip case: North, South,
East, and West.
My own miniature books, starting out as a
"sideline" to my etchings, now seem to be taking over
and have given me a wonderful new world, full of
fascinating, interesting people and unique little books -
a world that I could not have dreamt of almost twenty
years ago when I bought my first miniature herbal. So
far I have been able to carry my love of flowers into
tluee little volumes on The language of herbs, as well
as one on J 'tolets. and one on Strawberries. Two more
books were inspued by travels to Ireland and England
There are mam more planned that I hope to have time
to do in the future.
A brochure describing Jane Conneen's work is
available from The Little Farm Press, 820 Andrews
Road. Bath, Pennsvlvania 18014.
The following titles have been identified from pre-
publication publicity, publisher's catalogs, or
advertising All titles include pop-ups unless otherwise
African folktales. Telltale Theater |bookand
audiocassette] Running Press March. $12 95 12
pages. 2 >;"x4" 1-56138-501-8
All creatures great and small Little Bible Pop-ups.
Random House April S4 50 3 1 4" x 3 14"
Bertie the bus and Thomas the tank engine. Little
Pops. By Rev W. Awdry. Random House. Mav. $4.50.
5" x 5". 12 pages. 0-679-86996-4.
The best of Mother Goose. Telltale Theater |book and
audiocassette] Running Press. March. $12 95. 12
pages. 2 V : " x 4". 1-56138-502-6.
.4 bouquet of flowers: A treasury of blossoms.
Miniature Editions Running Press March $4 95. 12
pages. 2 3/4" x 3 1/4". 1-56138-574-3.
The butterfly. A circular pop-up book. By David
Hawcock. Hyperion. May. $6.95. 5" x 5". 12 pages.
Dinosaur pop-up ABC. Little Simon. Mav. $14.95.
10" x 8". 14 pages. 0-67 1 -89076-x.
Disney's 1.2,3. under the sea: a Little Mermaid pop-
up counting book. Disney Press. April. $ 12.95. 8 '/->" x
7 1/4". 20 pages. 0-7868-3035-2.
Disney 's the Lion King jungle days. A Tiny Changing
Pictures Book. Disney Press. March 10 pages. 3 1/4"
x3 l/4".$4 95 0-7868-3011-5.
Disney 's the Lion King puzzle pop-up game book.
[three-dimensional game board in storybook] Disney
Press. March. 1 1 1/4" x 7". 12 pages. March. $17.95.
The frog: A circular pop-up book. By David
Hawcock. Hyperion. May. $6.95. 5" x 5". 12 pages.
Help the animals of Africa. By Robert Sabuda. Joshua
Moms. April. $4.99. 6" x 6". 0-89577-668-5
Help the animals of Asia. By Robert Sabuda. Joshua
Moms April. $4.99. 6" x 6" 0-89577-667-7
Help the animals of.Xorth America. By Robert
Sabuda. Joshua Morris. April. $4.99. 6" x 6".
Help the animals of South America. By Robert
Sabuda. Joshua Moms April. $4.99. 6" x 6".
Help, mama, help!: A touch-and-feel pull-tab pop-up
book. By Shen Roddie. Little Brown. April. $14.95. 9
Vi"\ 8 3/4". 0-3 16-75357-2.
Hey diddle, diddle and other Mother Goose rhymes. A
Nursery Pop-up By Jonathan I.angley. HarperFestival.
$4.95. February 5" x 6" 10 pages 0-694-00634-3.
The honeybee and the robber: A moving pictures pop-
up book. [Reissue]. Philomel January $17.95.
In and out and roundabout: A pop-up book of
directions. Little Simon. April. $8.95. 6" x 6". 10
Joan Walsh Angtund's Mother Goose pop-up. Little
Simon. May. $11.95. 16 pages. 7" x 8 'A".
Just you and me, grandpa: A pop-up story about a
special day. Joshua Moms. $9.95. 12 pages. 7 3/4" x 6
Kisses: A treasury of romance. Miniature Editions.
Running Press. March. $4 95. 12 pages. 2 3/4" x 3
Mothers: A celebration of love. Miniature Editions.
Running Press March. $4 95 12 pages. 2 3/4" x 3
Mv sister: A treasury of companionship. Miniature
Editions. Running Press. March. $4.95 12 pages.
2 3/4" x 3 1/4". 1-56138-554-9.
Now the dav is over. Little Bible Pop-ups Random
House. April. $4.50. 3 1/4" x 3 1/4". 0-679-87217-5.
Old King Cole and other Mother Goose rhymes. A
Nursery Pop-up. By Jonathan Langley HarperFestival
$4.95. February. 5" x 6". 10 pages. 0-694-00635-1.
Percy the small engine and the scarf. Little Pops. By
Rev. W Awdry. Random House. May. $4.50. 5" x 5".
12 pages. 0-679-86995-6.
Pink drink: A pop-up book of color rhymes. Little
Simon. April. $8.95 6" x 6". 10 pages.
The poetry of friendship Miniature Editions. Running
Press. March. $4.95. 12 pages. 2 3/4" x 3 1/4".
A rain forest pop-up poster and story By Maria Mudd
Ruth. Little Simon March. Poster 19" x 44" x 4 1/4"
deep. $16.95. 0-671-51080-0.
The salmon: A circular pop-up book. By David
Hawcock. Hyperion. May $6.95 5" x 5" 12 pages.
Smile! Twenty-five happy reminders. Miniature
Editions. Running Press. March. $4.95. 12 pages.
2 3/4" x 3 1/4". 1-56138-556-5.
Snack Pack: A pop-up book in every box\ [three mini
cereal boxes"] Little Brown. April $8.95. 2 3/4" x 4"
xl". 3 books 12 pages each. 0-316-15241-2.
The swallow: A circular pop-up book. By David
Hawcock. Hyperion. May. $6.95. 5" x 5". 12 pages.
0-7868-0 10 i -8.
Tambourina 's troubles: A pop-up storybook. Joshua
Moms. May. $1 1.95. 5 '/:" x 1 1" 18 pages.
Thomas the tank engine and the scrambles eggs. Little
Pops By Rev W Awdry Random House May. $4.50.
5" x 5". 12 pages 0-679-86993-x.
Thomas the tank engine catches a thief. Little Pops.
By Rev. W. Awdry Random House. May. $4.50. 5" x
5". 12 pages. 0-679-86994-8.
Halt Disney 's Peter Pan off to Never Land. A Tiny
Changing Pictures Book. Disney Press. March. 10
pages. 3 1/4" x 3 l/4".$4.95. 0-7868-3016-6.
The Movable Book Society
P.O. Box 11654
New Brunswick. New Jersey 08906
3 9088 01629 2690
Millisecond to Millennia: The Art of Time
More than sixty examples of artist-made books in
this exhibit, organized by The Hand Workshop
at the Virginia Center for Craft Arts.
Curated by Carol Barton.
March 7 -April 15. 1995
Montserrat College of Art Gallery
23 Essex Street
Beverly. Massachusetts 01915